“Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” –II Corinthians 9:10
Scripture Reading: Romans 6:11-23
The breastplate was an important part of a soldier’s armor that covered his vital organs, especially the heart and lungs. The breastplate had two parts, the front and the back, and they went from his neck to his thighs. Most were made of plates or rings of metal, either like the scales of a fish or looped together to allow flexibility of movement, yet offered protection from sword, spear, or arrow.
The righteousness here refers to “integrity, holiness, purity of life, sincerity of piety. The breastplate defended the vital parts of the body and the idea here may be that integrity of life, and righteousness of character, are as necessary to defend us from the assaults of Satan, as the coat of mail was to preserve the heart from the arrows of an enemy. It was in incorruptible integrity of Job, and in a higher sense, of the Redeemer Himself, that saved them from the temptations of the devil. And it is as true now that no one can successfully meet the power of temptation unless he is righteous… A want of integrity will leave a man exposed to the assaults of the enemy, just as a man would be whose coat of mail was defective, or some part of which was wanting. The King of Israel was smitten by an arrow, “…between the joints of his harness” I Kings 22:34; and many a man who thinks he has on the Christian armor is smitten in the same manner. There is some defect of character; some want of incorruptible integrity; some point that is unguarded–and that will be sure to be the point of attack by the foe. So David was tempted to commit the enormous crimes that stain his memory, and Peter to deny his Lord. So Judas was assailed for the want of the armor of righteousness, through his avarice; and so, by some want, of incorruptible integrity in a single point, many a minister of the gospel has been assailed and has fallen. It may be added here, That we need a righteousness which God alone can give… to make us perfectly invulnerable to all the arrows of the foe” (Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, p. 1013).
- What is an important first step for any believer? Romans 4:3-5; Acts 2:38; Acts 3:19-24; Isaiah 55:6-7.
- What then is expected to follow? James 2:20-24; Ephesians 2:8-10.
- Should sin still have control? Romans 6:1-2, 11-16. What are we to do with our “members?” Note: the margin renders “instruments” as “arms” or “weapons.”
- Contrast the two ways we can be servants. Romans 6:18, 20-22.
- What should our attitude be toward righteousness? Matthew 5:6.
- What call to faith and blessing does God give? Isaiah 55:1-3.
- What is a good indication of conversion? I John 2:28-29; I John 3:7, 10; Matthew 12:34-37.
- How is this possible? Philippians 2:13; II Corinthians 3:5-6; Romans 8:10.
- Why is it important to examine our spiritual condition? II Corinthians 13:5.
- What is another way that righteousness is symbolized? Revelation 19:7-8; Revelation 3:18-19. How important is this? Matthew 22:11-14.
Who are you? That is the question, who are you really? Look at your “inner man.” What do you see? Someone has observed that who we really are is who we are when we are all by ourselves and no one else is watching. If we are real Christians from the inside out, truly righteous and converted, then we are just the same in private as we are in church.
Have we ignored a basic obligation when we accepted the King’s gracious invitation, have we put on our garment? Or, have we refused to wear the correct garment? To accept the invitation but then refuse to put on the “garment” or think it’s not needed would be a refusal of Christ’s sacrifice and hence, we would then be an imposter.
Who are you?